How to Work With Acrylic Resin

by Nora Zavalczki
Acrylic resin can be used to make figurines.

Acrylic resin can be used to make figurines.

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Resin is a substance that occurs in nature and is secreted by coniferous trees. Artificial resin is also produced, and acrylics, polyesters, urethanes and epoxies are available for crafts projects. Acrylic resin contains acrylic acid and methacrylic acid, and is known for its optical transparency. This material may be used to repair transparent screens, in dentistry, or in the making of jewelry or figurines. In crafts projects, the resin is typically cast into molds.

Items you will need

  • Goggles, mask, rubber gloves
  • Pourable acrylic resin
  • Resin catalyst
  • Molds
  • Plastic or ceramic bowl
  • Resin dyes or natural pigments (optional)
  • Stick
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
Step 1

Clean the mold, which can be made of metal, plastic or rubber. Remove any dust or dirt from inside the mold, because any remaining particles will be encased in resin. Dry the mold.

Step 2

Prepare the pourable resin in a plastic or ceramic bowl. Mix the resin with its catalyst, using a wooden stick. The ratio may vary according to the product you use, so read the labels carefully. Stir vigorously for at least one minute or until you find that the paste is homogeneous.

Step 3

Pour the liquid resin into the mold, using the opening located at the top of the mold. Fill the mold and tap it on the sides to remove any air bubbles that remain in the liquid.

Step 4

Allow the resin to cure in the mold for up to 24 hours. The time needed for the resin to harden depends on the product you use and the size and thickness of the object you prepare.

Step 5

Remove the mold from around the resin object.

Step 6

Sand the resin if there are any imperfections on the surface of the object you make. The resin may have a slightly textured surface after it cures.

Tips & Warnings

  • Tint the resin using resin dyes or natural pigments. Avoid water-based paints, which may delay the curing of the resin and may require a change in the proportions of resin and catalyst you use. Never use oil paints to color the resin, because oils may not allow the resin to cure.
  • Encase various objects in the resin, including crushed glass, coins, fabric, pressed flowers, photographs or pebbles. Fill only half of the mold and insert the object(s). Allow to dry for up to 60 minutes and pour the resin to fill the rest of the mold.
  • If you want to fix a screen using acrylic resin, use a paintbrush and apply thin layers of liquid resin. Allow each layer to cure before applying the next one.
  • Uncured acrylic resin is toxic, so wear safety goggles, a mask and gloves until the resin is cured.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images